Budget Doesn’t Deliver for Front-line as Promised
Apr 11, 2017
The Manitoba Government unveiled Budget 2017 today. MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky says that public sector workers will be largely underwhelmed by what they saw.
“At a time when this government is closing ERs, there will be no new investments in personal care home beds,” Gawronsky said. “And funding for home care and long-term care is flat. Our members in health care know better than anyone that this, combined with emergency room closures, is a prescription for disaster.”
For MGEU members who work in post-secondary education, funding will remain status quo with no increases for colleges and universities.
“We know education is key to good jobs for young Manitobans,” added Gawronsky. “We didn’t see that investment in this budget and I know our members in education have been telling us that the status quo for another year just won’t do.”
Gawronsky says that many of the significant fiscal restraints (such as wage freezes and two years of wage caps well below the cost of living for public employees) were announced well before today and Budget 2017 didn’t provide a lot of detail about how the government will invest in the people who deliver those services.
“For a government elected to improve public services, we didn’t see that backed up in this budget,” said Gawronsky. “Instead, our members are asked once again to do more with less this year.”
Budget 2017 Highlights
- Core government spending is expected to rise 2.1 per cent. All departments will get increases except for Growth, Enterprise and Trade, Indigenous and Municipal Relations, Sport, Culture and Heritage, and Sustainable Development.
- The province will spend more than $1.7 billion on infrastructure – about the same as last year – but reductions are forecast for both highway construction and highway maintenance.
- Government will pursue further privatization, including public private partnerships.
- There was no mention of additional funding for addictions programs in the budget.
- The Manitoba Tuition fee income
tax rebate is eliminated this year for current students. For graduates, it is
reduced this year and eliminated next year.